APA Style, 6th Edition

In-text citation rules change depending on author(s), year, and pages. Open the tabs below to find the right rule:

APA in-text citation rules change depending on number/type of author(s). Identify and count the author(s), then follow the corresponding rule below:

Work with ONE author
Work with TWO authors
Work with THREE to FIVE authors
Work with SIX or more authors
Work with NO author specified
SECONDARY SOURCE (A source found inside a source)

Place the publication year after name of the author(s) in the same or a separate bracket:

  • (Murray, 2014, p. 231)
  • According to Murray (2014)...


1) No date can be clearly identified

Write n.d. (which means "no date"):

  • (Murray, n.d., p. 12)
  • According to Murray (n.d.)...

2) Republished sources (e.g. literary works in anthologies) where the more recent date would be misleading

If the original date is contextually significant, include both dates in parenthesis with a slash; list the earlier date first and the publication date of the actual source you are using second:

  • Atwood (1972/2012) found that survival is a theme that appears repeatedly in Canadian literature (pp. 10-14). 
  • Freud (1923/1992) argued that the ego "attempts to mediate between id and reality” (p. 42). 

3) Two sources with the same author and same date

If you have two sources written by an author with the same publication date, use lowercase letters to help the reader know the difference:

  • Chowdary et al. (2015a) found the medication was over-prescribed to younger patients (p. 109).
  • Further, a research study concluded that the side effects may increase the risk of developmental disabilities (Chowdary et al., 2015b, p. 12).

When using the exact words (quotation) a page number must be included. 

When using a paraphrase (rewording) of a source, you are not required to add the page number.

Basic format (quotation):

Use p. for a single page or pp. for multiple pages in brackets after the quotation or paraphrase:

  • (Kapoor & Lee, 2010, p. 12)
  • A systematic review of the literature by Hammond et al. revealed "group counseling is more effective for treating major depressive disorders" (2014, p. 183). 

For non-consecutive pages, use pp. and a comma between the page numbers:

  • (Kapoor & Lee, 2010, pp. 12, 15)
  • (Mann, 2016, pp. A1, A7)

Exceptions: What if there are no page numbers?

If a source has no numbered pages, include paragraph numbers and/or headings.

To cite paragraphs, use the abbreviation “para.” If the source has headings, use quotation marks; you may also indicate the paragraph number under the heading if the section is lengthy:

  • (Hall, 2008, para. 5).
  • According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (n.d.), "[s]tigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier...to diagnosis and treatment" ("Fast Facts"). 
  • Taveras (2004) noted several medications were classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as having “potential for abuse” ("Conclusion," para. 11)

Basic format (paraphrase):

  • Nguyen (2014) concluded that pharmacological approaches are not as effective as psychological methods such as group counselling. 


In-text citations must be placed in your assignment every time you use a source. APA style uses the author-date method with brackets ( ) to include 3 parts in this order: (1) author(s); (2) publication year; and (3) page, paragraph number, or heading. Include these parts in any of the following three ways: